I have long been defending Waitrose as a supermarket. A lot of people complain about it being overpriced, and I’m forever quoting ‘but they price match all branded goods’ as if my job depended on it (I don’t work for them). Truth is, they do. But I’ve recently realised that it’s the items that are harder to price match, their own brand products, where they really can catch you out. I don’t mean that they’re being all sneaky sneaky about it, and perhaps they are of a different quality sometimes, but I think maybe they do capitalise on people not taking the time to shop around. Not only that, but Waitrose' variety of products leaves something to be desired (literally).
I generally shop at Waitrose because it’s my closest supermarket, the customer service is outstanding and it has a lovely atmosphere, and because the only other decent sized supermarket in my town (Tesco) makes me wonder whether I may in fact be mildly claustrophobic. I sometimes question if they even have a warehouse or store rooms given how high boxes are piled on top of their shelving.
But, back on topic, since I’ve been more frequently buying my own food (I live with family), especially the healthy stuff, I’ve been disappointed at Waitrose lack of variety, high prices, and especially at how long (or not) their fresh produce actually lasts. I bought strawberries one day, and they’d almost gone off before 24 hours was up. As a comparison, I bought the same amount of strawberries, for less than half the price in Tesco, and they lasted about three times as long. I’ve also started paying more attention to other products and noticing price discrepancies. Regular houmous, for example, in Waitrose costs £1.55, whereas other own brand houmous is often a nice, round figure at £1.00 a pot.
But the real star of this blog post is Morrisons. Hello, market street. My nearest Morrisons is unfortunately a 30 minute drive away, but, as it happens to be very close to where I go for my PT sessions, I recently popped in to pick up some essentials. Honestly, I couldn’t contain my excitement. I realise that sounds incredibly lame, but let me explain why.
Purple potatoes. Seriously. Just one of the many hard-to-come-by vegetables sold at Morrisons. Their selection, from my experience, is second to none. As well as grabbing some violet veg on my last trip, I also was super excited to find lots of exotic fruit. Medjool dates are some of my favourite healthy sweet treats, but I rarely buy them as Waitrose charge almost £4 for just 9 of the little fellas. But Morrisons? 7 for £1. I could pick my own (rather than getting them pre-boxed) and they were softer and gooier (that’s a good thing, FYI). My basket also included 4 avocados for 99p and a bag full of kiwis which would have probably lasted for weeks in the fridge if I hadn’t have scoffed them. I also highly recommend their beetroot, yogurt and mint dip.
We all know that eating healthy gets expensive, but there really are big differences in price depending on where you shop. I am a pretty frugal shopper, and I know to look at the price per ml or g, I check prices online, and I take advantage of offers, and I really think it starts to pay off. I’m certainly starting to become a seasoned savvy shopper in the fruit and veg, and snacks, departments, although with meat and fish I find it much trickier to determine quality, etcetera. What are your thoughts? I’d love to know your shopping tips, and where your favourite place to shop for food?